How to lodge a petition to the Senate

Individuals and organisations may seek to have petitions presented to the Parliament. Petitions generally express views on matters of public policy and ask the Parliament to take or, in some cases, not to take a particular course of action.

Each House of the Parliament has its own rules that documents must follow in order to be accepted as petitions. To be accepted by the Senate, a petition:

  • must be addressed to the Senate; and
  • must be presented by a Senator

In order that a petition can be presented, senators should ensure that:


the petition is in conformity with the standing orders, in particular, that it contains a request for action by the Senate or the Parliament (standing orders governing petitions (HTML format) (PDF 8KB));

(b) the first page of the petition should show the total number of signatures and be signed by the senator (please note: senators need sign only the first page of identical petitions);

the text of the petition must be shown on each page on which there are signatures;


all signatures must be original signatures, not photocopies or faxed copies;


no letters, affidavits, or other documents shall be attached to a petition; and

(f) the petition should be forwarded to the Petitions Officer, Senate Table Office, SG 25, Parliament House.

Electronic Petitions

The Senate also accepts electronic petitions. The rules governing electronic petitions are much the same as those outlined above.

In addition, electronic petitions should:


include the name and e-mail address of each petitioner (this functions as the ‘signature’ of a petitioner); and

(b) be certified as an electronic petition by the senator presenting the petition – the senator certifies that the petition has been duly posted with the text available to each signatory.

In order that an electronic petition can be presented to the Senate, a full print out of the electronic petition, including the text and all signatures, should be provided to the Petitions Officer, Senate Table Office, SG 25, Parliament House.

Sample Format of a Petition

To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

The petition of the undersigned shows:

(state grievance or subject of complaint)

Your petitioners ask/request that the Senate:

(state the redress or action desired)

Name Address Signature

For any further information, contact the Petitions Officer, Senate Table Office, SG. 25, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600. Telephone: (02) 6277 3010.

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